Australia’s Oral Health Tracker was the focus of Dental Health Week 2019, which ran from 5‑11 August, employing the tagline “How’s Your Oral Health Tracking?”
The campaign aimed to highlight the state of Australia’s oral health and the fact that many Australians are still not on track; not least because only half brush their teeth twice daily and three-quarters of 14-18 year olds are consuming too much sugar daily.
The ADA used four key messages in this year’s campaign.
– Brush twice per day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste,
– Clean in between teeth at least once daily with floss or interdental brushes,
– Eat a nutritious diet, low in sugar, and
– Visit the dentist regularly.
The 2019 Dental Health Week (DHW) campaign was successful in reaching many Australians, through print, online, radio and television media, the promotion of the ADA’s four ‘pro-tip’ videos using Facebook as well as all participating dental practices and staff.
Online awareness campaign
This year, the ADA created two new educational/instructional 10-pro-tip videos including ‘pro-tips for visiting the dentist’ and ‘protips for a tooth friendly diet’. These videos were promoted through Facebook, along with the 2018 videos ‘pro-tips for brushing’ and pro-tips for flossing’. This was a very successful campaign; more than
one million people were exposed to these videos in their Facebook feeds, with over 123,430 people watching the videos from beginning to end.
Media coverage garnered this year was outstanding – from the 7 pm ABC News nationwide to rolling TV and radio reports throughout the week – The Project on Channel 10 and Sunrise on Channel 7, to numerous regional stations across the country, and a huge swathe of print.
Coverage was focussed on the dangers of charcoal toothpaste, DIY teeth whitening, the love affair Australians are currently having with health fads meant to enhance dental beauty and health, sleep apnoea devices, oral piercings, fluoridation of water, seniors’ oral health concerns, why more kids are getting cavities, the reasons going to the dentist can be pricey and the cost of private health insurance. While discussing these topics, spokespeople referenced DHW and what the ADA and its members were doing in that area of dentistry.
All DHW spokespeople, including the ADA’s DHW spokesperson Dr Mikaela Chinotti, ADA President Dr Carmelo Bonanno, Vice President Dr Terry Pitsikas, Drs Matt Hopcraft, Martin Webb, Stephen Liew, Norah Ayad, Lawrence Walsh, Angie Nillson and Fleur Creeper all took time from their busy work schedules to execute the numerous media interviews before and during DHW.
The campaign started several months out, with pitching to a huge range of media outlets from the ABC though to small circulation regional newspapers. Even a small radio station in Torres Strait came into the ADA’s orbit!
While DHW reach was mostly within Australia, there were some international hits including the US, the UK, Denmark, Sri Lanka, Canada, South Africa, Germany, India – even Cameroon and Macedonia.
DHW received great results across all platforms; reach was far and wide with over 2850 unique media hits, with unique mentions as follows:
– Broadcast: 934
– Social: 1620
– Print: 150
– Online: 201 (up by 139% on last year’s DHW)
Throughout the week, there was wonderful participation by ADA members who decorated their clinics, educated incoming patients and/or went out into their local community promoting the importance of oral health care. This campaign would not work without the continued support of ADA members and their staff.
The ADA is thankful to Colgate and Wrigley’s Extra for their support. Toothbrush and paste packs were delivered to 50 winning dental practices. The ADA branches were supplied with brushes, pastes and sugar-free gum for use in community oral health promotion initiatives.
On 10 August (the Saturday of DHW) numerous ADA members in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania volunteered as part of a Free Oral Health Screening clinic organised by Throat Scope and Sigma Healthcare. This initiative was supported by both the ADA and the Australian Dental Health
Foundation (ADHF). Thank you to the volunteers who gave their time on this day.
While Dental Health Week may be over for another year, oral promotion promotion continues with the ADA creating resources for members to use in health promotion initiatives as well as promote oral health and provide oral health education. These resources will form the Oral Health Promotion Toolkit which are freely accessible to ADA members.
Planning will begin soon for DHW 2020. If you have feedback from 2019 or suggestions for 2020 ideas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Formally adopted on 23 September in New York, the UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which recognises that